Blog


Welcome to my new website!

Hello again! I didn’t realise just how long it had been since I posted on my blog, and I’ve decided that I’m going to talk about more than just writing and books. So much goes on in the area in which my books are set that it would be silly not to include it – I’ve been trying out new places to visit and to eat, so I’m happy to share my experiences, good and bad.

So, what’s been going on? Last year I finally achieved a BSc (Hons) from the OU, so I’d like to think the Creative Writing modules improved my technique. Last week, I signed up to study an MA with the Open University. I thought about it long and hard before doing so, but apparently not long enough or hard enough, because when I gave it further thought I realised that it wasn’t for me. They want writers who will learn their ways and I’m happy with my own style. I don’t want to tick boxes. And it’s expensive. I also applied for a one-year PhD, which is really just a dream; I decided to speak to the tutor and see if it was viable. He said he’d read my book and let me know. I haven’t heard anything yet but am well aware that people don’t always see women’s fiction as serious writing (yes, I know it’s a comedy) so I’m bracing myself for a ‘sorry, it’s a no.’

I’ve started writing the third book, though finding it far too easy to get distracted (from fostering dogs to rediscovering art – if I get a lot of practice, it would be great to do commissions).

That will do for a brief update, and I’m going to try and write a new post at least once per week (Fridays?) unless I have anything interesting to tell you. Hopefully, I’ve remembered how to use WordPress properly and this appears on my website!


NEWSFLASH!

If you got the Metro newspaper yesterday, you might have noticed that I got a mention. Crushed was listed as one of the wonderful actress/novelist Pauline Mclynn’s three ‘desert island books’. I was surprised and delighted. I wish that I could remember how to post a photograph here so that I could show you. Hopefully that will generate another sale or two!

I should remind you that if you purchase books through Feedaread, they will take a week or so to arrive, as they are freshly printed just for you – I love new book smell!


CRUSHED – OUT NOW!

Hi – it’s publication day! A day earlier than anticipated. You can now buy my new novel, Crushed, at Amazon:

BUY CRUSHED HERE

There is an accompanying playlist on Spotify, which is free to join. I know how frustrating it is when songs are central to a book’s story and you’ve never heard them!

I hope that you enjoy it and please feel free to contact me if you spot an error.


THE END.

Draft two of the book is finally complete and I have some kind people reading through it, pointing out my mistakes (and with my ME/CFS brainfog, they’ll have their work cut out). I grew to love the characters so I hope that everyone else will, too. I’m still on track to publish the book on 24th October, my 40th birthday. Lots of work to do on the book cover and my website is still woefully out of date. If I can’t do things myself, I need to rely on experts.

In other news, as you know, I prefer not to do anything daring but have signed up to do a 230m zipwire across the Tyne in aid of two charities: Marie Curie and Cavalier Matters. I am already having nightmares so would appreciate ANY support -I’m already imagining passing out half way across or not being securely fastened in. Scared but for good causes, that mean something to me or my extended family. Even if you can only donate a pound, it will help. Many thanks!

Cavalier Matters:

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Marie Curie:

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

I’m not expecting to raise a lot, as I don’t know a lot of people to ask for sponsorship, but figure that every little bit will help the charities.


Bachelor of Science!

So, against all of the odds, I passed my Advanced Creative Writing (A363) module, meaning that I’m now the proud owner of a BSc. Unfortunately, the only local graduation ceremony occurred in June this year, so I will have to wait until next June to attend a ceremony. After four years of studying, it feels like a bit of an anti-climax but I’m glad that I’ve completed it. I’m sticking with the OU for one more course, so that I can get the Hons component…only 19 years behind those I went to school with. It might take me a while, but I get there eventually!

I’m hoping to send my second novel off to my pre-publication readers by the end of this month – to be honest, after having a couple of weeks off, I’m struggling to get back in to it. I’m constantly tweaking things instead of writing more. I’m also rethinking my cover – will I ever be happy with this?


Novel 2

Well, I bet you thought I’d abandoned this blog! I think that I probably had, since I haven’t written here since January 2013.

So, what’s happened? I now have five dogs, having gained two in the latter part of 2013 – it is pretty hard to write with that many dogs, competing with the laptop for prime position on your knee. However, I have finally made headway with novel two. At almost 80,000 words, it is almost complete – it will need to be heavily edited, as it’s very rough, but I’m happy with the storyline and am a little in love with Will, our hero. I’m sure that you will like him, too.

The subject matter is more serious, although I am trying to keep an element of comedy throughout, as that’s what I like, as a reader. Hopefully, I won’t keep you waiting too long.

In other news, I decided to take some Open University writing courses, the first of which was fairly enjoyable and the current one is a bit of a chore. The advanced course made me question my ability (and desire) to write, but I have a story to tell so I’m going to persevere. Still, these courses are another step towards my degree. It would have been nice to achieve this by the time I was forty (later this year) but at least I’m trying.

I’m aiming to write on my blog at least once a week, so I hope you’ll re-join me. I’m also on Facebook. Oh, and please excuse my website. I’m hoping to overhaul it when my book cover is ready.


Snow and bugs

So much for good intentions: bugs have infected the household and there are germs loose aboot this hoose, affecting my new year’s goals (not resolutions). I know that it is very snowy outside, but having not been out since last Thursday, I have missed walking in it. The dogs (except the eldest) are loving it and take every opportunity to run outside and rub their heads in it. Lovely to watch but difficult to get them back in.

I have (stupidly?) signed up for another OU course in the hopes that I can accelerate the goal of achieving a degree. I am at odds with my Creative Writing tutor, which is very discouraging as I had been so excited at the thought of being taught by a successful author. I am by no means perfect, but I am struggling with the tutor’s views, so much so that I’m hoping to change tutors (possibly at the expensive of my overall mark). Usually, I wouldn’t take a stand but covering the costs of this course are a struggle for me, so I should have faith that I will improve because of it – I shouldn’t be made to feel inferior. So, taken a stand I have!

On the plus side, some feedback I got from fellow students has made me take a fresh look at my current manuscript (no, I haven’t written any more than the existing 50,000 words yet, due to illness) and I hope I can make improvements. I’m a bit deflated from my OU course feedback – lack of confidence always affects my writing but, hopefully, I’ll get back to it soon.

In the meantime, enjoy the snow, stay warm, drive careful and don’t laugh if you see me tottering down the street – I hate slippery, icy streets!


Happy New Year!

Welcome to my first post for 2013 – I hope you all had a pleasant Christmas and a happy New Year. Ours was a quiet family Christmas, with the addition of my godmother this year – unfortunately, the ME/CFS made itself known, so I wasn’t able to do as much as I would have liked, but I still enjoyed myself. I even got to feed a reindeer in December, which made me very happy!

2012 was a busy year, with several weddings and, sadly, a funeral. Interesting things included reuniting a lady with a brother she hadn’t seen for 69 years. Unfortunately, I can’t let you know what happened as she never contacted me to let me know the outcome! C’est la vie. I finally managed to get Karma on sale again through Amazon Kindle. Personal achievements included a surprisingly good exam result in my Psychology exam and, for the first time ever, completing NaNoWriMo – that really did take its toll, though it does mean that I am half way through my second novel, Look Who’s Stalking. I had hoped to publish on 14th February 2013 but I think it will be later than that as I don’t want to rush it. I am also studying Creative Writing as part of a degree course – not really enjoying it, as my tutor is pretty hard to please. Starting to wish I’d stuck with Psychology (speaking of the OU, I should be working on an assignment as I type).

I’m not making any resolutions this year as everything we would like to do is dependent on money (which we have little of). If I win the Euromillions, I would like to learn to drive (which would open the door to a few other things I would like to do, but I’ll tell you those things if I ever pass my driving test). Ideally, I would wish for a cure for ME/CFS but as that’s unlikely, I’d hope for a little more understanding (baby steps).

I’ll leave you for now, as I need to research something for my grandad’s birthday: he’ll be 90 this month! Wishing you good health and happiness in 2013. x